The Truth is Only With us!
 

Egocentric attitude, selfishness, and head strongness of self-governing may easily make one to think his ideas whatever may be, is the best of all, and the only right one and that of others is wrong, and false, Such a man may do his best and insist upon painting the others with his own colour! Our HOLY BOOK discloses the vain desires of such, through the following verse that: ``And the people of the BOOK say: Become Jews or Christians if you want to be guided to salvation. Tell them nay! We would rather have the religion of ABRAHAM who was a man of pure faith and truthful creed. We won't follow such religions that are perverted and misinterpreted for mortal purposes. VERSE NO. 136

The argument is proceeded to a clear-cut answer that Muslims may give to the people of the BOOK saying: ``We believe in Allah and the revelation given to us, and we believe in that which was sent down to us, and we believe in that which was sent down to ABRAHAM, ISHMAEL, ISSAC, and JACOB, and on the tribes, and that given to Moses and to Jesus, and other Apostles from their Lord. We make no difference between one and another of them, and we submit to Allah. VERSE NO. 137

Through the third verse it is concluded that: ``If they believe as you believe in, they are, in the right path and guided well. But if they turn back, it is they who are in schism, and pretty soon will Allah suffice you against them.'' This is because Muslims are in the true line of those who follow the one, and indivisible Message of the one God, wherever delivered.

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(( 138 )) 138- (TAKE ON) ALLAH'S DYE, (BAPTISM WITH THE PAINT OF FAITH, MONOTHEISM AND ISLAM) AND WHO HAS A BETTER DYE THAN ALLAH? AND HIM DO WE WORSHIP.

(( 139 )) 139- SAY: -DO YOU DISPUTE WITH US ABOUT ALLAH, WHO IS OUR LORD AND YOUR LORD? OUR DEEDS BELONG TO US, AND YOUR DEEDS BELONG TO YOU; AND WE ARE SINCERE TO HIM

(( 140 ))

140- OR DO YOU SAY THAT; ABRAHAM, ISHMAEL, ISAAC, AND JACOB, AND THE TRIBES WERE JEWS, OR CHRISTIANS? SAY: DO YOU KNOW BETTER THAN ALLAH? (THOUGH YOU KNOW WELL THAT THEY WERE NEITHER JEWS NOR CHRISTIANS, WHY DO YOU THEN CONCEAL THE TRUTH?) AND WHO IS MORE UNJUST THAN HE WHO HIDES A TESTIMONY WHICH HE HAS RECEIVED FROM ALLAH; AND ALLAH IS NOT HEEDLESS OF WHAT YOU DO.

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(( 141 )) 141- THAT IS A NATION THAT HAVE PASSED AWAY. THEIRS IS WHAT THEY HAVE EARNED, AND YOURS SHALL BE WHAT YOU HAVE EARNED; AND YOU WILL NOT BE QUESTIONED ABOUT THE THINGS THEY DID.

THE COMMENTARY
VERSE NO. 139


People of the BOOK engaged themselves with hot dispute and prolonged controverses, against Muslims; relying on this basis that all the improtant prophets who are so much respected by Muslims, were either Jews or Christians. God has answered them saying: ``Will you dispute with us about Allah, (AND HIS APOSTLES) seeing that he is our Lord and your Lord? And that we are responsible for our deeds, and you are responsible for your doings - We are sincere in our faith with Allah.'' VERSE NO. 140

``Or do they say that: ABRAHAM, ISHMAEL, ISAAC, JACOB, and the TRIBES were Jews or Christains? Ask them if they know better than Allah? Ah? Who is more unjust than those who hide the testimony they have from Allah - But Allah is not unmindful of what you do.'' VERSE NO. 141

Here, the verse signifies: Supposing that your claims be true, (WHICH ARE NOT) what then? Is it right to claim a monopoly for God's message. which must be the same for all people and all ages? On the other hand, Whether you admit or not, the renewal of the Message and the birth of a new nation and new LAW and ordinance, now shines brigthly in the life sky of mankind and no rejector is able to put the light off.

THE END OF PART1

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(( 142 )) 142- VERY SOON THE FOOLS OF THE PEOPLE WILL SAY: WHAT HAS TURNED THEM FROM THE QIBLA (QIBLA= THE POINT AND DIRECTION TO WHICH MUSLIMS STAY IN THEIR PRAYER) TO WHICH THEY WERE USED. (THE TEMPLE OF JERUSALEM) SAY TO ALLAH BELONGS THE EAST AND THE WEST, HE GUIDES WHOM HE WILL TO A STRAIGHT PATH.

THE COMMENTARY
THE CHANGE OF QIBLA (VERSE NO. 142)


This verse and few others, that follow, are about the change of QIBLA, an important event that occurred in the history of Islam. The prophet Mohammad (AS) and his followers, in their early days of Islam, before they could be organized as a people, they took as a symbol for their QIBLA the sacred temple of Jerusalem. For some thirteen years and few months, they faced towards the said temple in their prayers. After that period, when under divine direction, Mohammad (AS) began to organize his people as an UMMAT; an independent people with LAW and rituals of their own; then KABBA was established as a QIBLA.

This incident raised a hot dispute, and once again the Jews found a pretext to make much ado about nothing! They objected: If the QIBLA towards Jerusalem was right, why should you change it? And if it was wrong, what happens to so much prayers that have been performed in a wrong direction and QIBLA, during the long peroid of thirteen years time? To give that objection, a knocking down answer, QURA"N says: ``The fools among the people will soon say; what has turned them away from their first QIBLA to which they were used. Say: to Allah belongs the East and the West. HE guides whom HE will to a way that is straight.

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(( 143 ))

143- AND THUS WE HAVE MADE YOU A MIDMOST NATION, THAT YOU MIGHT BE WITNESSES TO THE PEOPLE, AND THAT THE MESSENGER MIGHT BE A WITNESS TO YOU. AND WE APPOINTED NOT THE QIBLA TO WHICH YOU WERE USED, EXCEPT, THAT WE MIGHT KNOW WHO WOULD FOLLOW THE MESSENGER FROM HIM WHO TURN ON HIS HEELS. IT WAS INDEED A HARD TEST, SAVE FOR THOSE WHOM ALLAH HAS GUIDED. AND ALLAH WAS NOT GOING TO RENDER YOUR FAITH (WHICH WAS MANIFESTED THROUGH YOUR PRAYERS TOWARD JERUSALEM) FRUITLESS, BECAUSE ALLAH IS COMPASSIONATE AND MERCIFUL TO ALL PEOPLE.

THE COMMENTARY

THE MIDMOST NATION (VERSE NO. 143)

The essence of Islam is to avoid all extravagances on either side, such as the extreme worldliness of the Jews; or the monastic life of a group of Christians who retire from the material world and devote themselves to asceticism to this effect Qura"n notifies: ``The new QIBLA, was also a midmost point of reference like the ummat. This is because when the Christians faced towards the birth place of their prophet Jesus (AS), they had to direct themselves towards the East. On the other hand the Jews

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who mostly lived in Syria, and Babylon, when faced towards Jerusalem, they would have to direct themselves towards the west. But Muslims who were almost all in Medina, directed themselves towards Mecca in a point and direction that was a midmost between the East and the West.'' Worthy of note: later when Muslims grew in number, and scattered round the world; due to their endeavours for finding the right direction towards KABBA (i.e. FINDING THE QIBLA) they discoverd many scientific laws in Geography and astronomy, and uses of compass, so much so that most of the pioneer scholars and experts in these fields of knowledges, were all Muslims.

Then Qura"n adds in this verse that: ``To make you witness over the nations, and the apostle a WITNESS over yourselves.''

COMMENTS ON: ``SO THAT WE MIGHT KNOW WHO...''

As for the clause: ``So that we might know who...'' and phrases: ``in order to know! that are found in QURA"N; do not mean that God knew not something and later came to know it. God rather has the knowledge of all things before they come to existence, and when it exitsts, adds nothing to the knowledge of God. This may be taken as an architect who has in his drawing all the details of a building, and he constructs a part of the whole building in order to show what he knows.''

As for the question that what becomes of those prayers that they performed towards Jerusalem: to answer it the QURA"N says: ``Your prayers were equally efficacious before the new QIBLA was ordered, and God regards every good act''.

``And never would Allah make Your faith of no effect, for Allah is full of kindness and the Most Merciful to all people.'' God's commandments can be taken in similarity some how to the prescriptions of a physician. One day this order is useful to the patient, and next day another prescription. The change of QIBLA should create no anxiety in some other direction. The east and the west belongs to God, and HE regards all the good acts of HIS servants.

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(( 144 ))

144- WE DO SEE YOU TURNING YOUR FACE IN THE SKY. (EXPECTING OUR FINAL COMMANDMENT OF QIBLA) THEN WE TURN YOU TO A QIBLA THAT SHALL PLEASE YOU: TURN YOUR FACE TOWARDS THE HOLY MOSQUE. AND WHEREVER YOU ARE, TURN YOUR FACES TOWARDS IT. THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE BOOK KNOW THAT IT IS THE TRUTH FROM THEIR LORD. (AND THE PROMISED PROPHET WILL PRAY TOWARDS TWO QIBLA) AND ALLAH IS NOT HEEDLESS OF WHAT YOU DO.

THE COMMENTARY
WHEREVER YOU BE, TURN YOUR FACES IN THE DIRECTION OF KAABA. (VERSE NO. 144)


The verse begins with showing the sincere desire of the prophet to seek light from God in the matter of QIBLA: ``And We see you turning your face (FOR GUIDANCE) to the sky. Now We shall turn you to a QIBLA, that shall please you. Turn then your face in the direction of the sacred mosque (KAABA)''

The prophet was really pleased with the new QIBLA; because its connection with HAZRAT ABRAHAM gave it great antiquity, and for that it is also named BAITULATIGH which means the ANTIQUE HOUSE. Being an Arab center, made it an exclusive place, because the new Message too, was in Arabic language. And it could be; as it later became, the center

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of gathering of all Muslims in their universal pilgrimages, and so the prophet seemed to expect. The verse ends in some sort of threat that: ``God is not heedless of what you do.'' Here the jews are threatened; because they already knew from their scriptures, that the promised prophet would pray in two QIBLA, and yet they concealed that, and kicked up a great fuss over it!

(( 145 ))

145- AND EVEN IF YOU BRING TO THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK ALL THE SIGNS, THEY WOULD NOT FOLLOW YOUR QIBLA, NOR ARE YOU GOING TO FOLLOW THEIR QIBLA, NEITHER WOULD ANY OF THEIR SECTS ACCEPT THE QIBLA OF THE OTHER. AND IF YOU FOLLOW THEIR CAPRICES, AFTER THE KNOWLEDGE THAT HAS COME TO YOU, THEN YOU SHALL MOST SURELY BE OF THE OPPRESSORS

THE COMMENTARY
THEY DON'T CONSENT IN ANY PRICE! (VERSE NO. 145)


The preceding verse signified that, the Jews knew from their scripture that the QIBLA would have to be changed; and this was taken a TOKEN of the truthfulness of HAZRAT MOHAMMAD (AS), but childish Zeal, and foolish fanaticism prevented them to admit that, and to this effect the Holy QURA"N sternly says: ``Even if you bring to the people of the BOOK all the (POSSIBLE) signs; they will not follow your QIBLA, and you too, will not follow theirs.''

This implies that; if the people of the book think that by making

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ados and kicking up fuss, and raising disputes, Mohammad would change his mind and once again refers back to the abrogated QIBLA, they go wrong, and once and for all, KAABA is chosen as a permanent and everlasting QIBLA for the worshippers. The verse also adds that: Neither would any of their sects accept the QIBLA of the other.

*****

(True that, both the Jews and Christians looked upon JERUSALEM as a sacred city; but there was not a universal QIBLA among them. Some Jews turned towards Jerusalem, specially during the captivity. At the time of our prophet Jerusalem was at the hands of Byzantine Empire, which was Christians; But the Christians oriented their churches to the East, (HENCE THE WORD ORIENTATION) which is a point of the compass, and not the direction of any sacred place. The fact of Altar being in the East does not mean that every worshipper has his face to the East, for, according at least to modern practice, the seats in a church are so placed, that different worshippers may face in different directions. on this account the above verse also implies that: ``Neither would any of their sects accept the QIBLA of the other sect.''

TRANSLATER'S NOTE - USUF ALI'S COMMENTS

(( 146 ))

146- THOSE TO WHOM WE HAVE GIVEN THE BOOK, KNOW HIM (OUR APOSTLE) AS THEY KNOW THEIR SONS; BUT SOME OF THEM DELIBERATELY CONCEAL THE TRUTH, WHILE THEY KNOW.

(( 147 )) 147- (THIS COMMANDMENT ON THE QIBLA) THE TRUTH IS FROM YOUR LORD, THEN BE NOT AMONG THE DOUBTERS.

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THE COMMENTARY
THEY KNOW HIM WELL (VERSE NO. 146)


The people of the BOOK knew Mohammad as they knew their sons. They knew him to be upright and truthful a man, they knew him to be in lineage of ABRAHAM and MOSES. And they also knew him to correspond to the description of the prophet foretold in their Scriptures. (FOR SUCH DESCRIPTIONS PLEASE REFER TO: MATTHEWS 3: 11 JOHN 14: 26 - 15: 26 - 19: 7 - 16: 12-14 TRANSLATOR'S NOTE) But selfishness made them to conceal the truth and their knowledge.

VERSE NO. 147

Then, once more to put an stress upon the previous arguments about QIBLA, and generally about. Islamic Commandments, the verse No. 147 implies: Truth only comes and is from Allah, so do not doubt about that.

(( 148 )) 148- EVERY ONE HAS A QIBLA (THEN DON'T DISPUTE MUCH ABOUT QIBLA, AND) EMULATE ONE ANOTHER IN GOOD WORKS, WHEREVER YOU MAY BE, ALLAH WILL BRING YOU ALL, (FOR THE REWARD OF YOUR DEEDS IN DOOMS DAY)FOR HE HAS POWER TO DO ANYTHING.

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THE COMMENTARY
EVERY NATION HAS A CERTAIN QIBLA (VERSE NO. 148)


Throughout the history of the prophets, there have been different QIBLAS. Of course, this is not something unchangeable such as a tenet or a religious principle. Therefore the Holy Book commands the parties not to dispute so much about QIBLA. Leave that subject and emulate and strive to excel one another in good deeds. The verse then gives a notice to the critics, and encouragement to the good doers saying: ``Wherever you may be; Allah will bring you all, in Resurrection Day, to reward you for your bad, or good deeds.'' In order to convince those who may think, how can God bring back to life, a body that has been decayed and dispersed here and there as dusts? the verse ends in saying: ``Allah HAS power to do anything.''

(( 149 ))

149- AND FROM WHENCESOEVER YOU DEPART, TURN YOUR FACE TOWARDS THE SACRED MOSQUE (KAABA) AND THIS (COMMAND) IS SURELY THE VERY TRUTH FROM YOUR LORD; AND ALLAH IS NOT HEEDLESS OF WHAT YOU DO.

(( 150 ))

150- AND FROM WHENCESOEVER YOU DEPART, TURN YOUR FACE TOWARDS THE SACRED MOSQUE (KAABA), AND WHEREVER YOU MAY BE TURN YOUR FACES TOWARDS IT, SO THAT THE PEOPLE MAY NOT HAVE ANY REASON AGAINST YOU,

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EXCEPTING THE OPPRESSORS OF THEM. THEN HAVE NO FEAR OF THEM, RATHER FEAR ME. AND THAT, I MAY COMPLETE MY FAVOURS ON YOU, AND PERHAPS YOU MAY BE GUIDED.

THE COMMENTARY
ONLY FEAR ALLAH (VERSE NO. 149)


This verse and the next one continues the argument about the change of QIBLA, and its consequences saying: ``Whencesoever you be and wherever from, you depart, when performing the prayer, turn your face towards the sacred mosque (KAABA)''
VERSE NO. 150

The verse firstly aims at the individual; by directly addressing the prophet, on the ground of uniformity and the removal of all occasions of disputes and arguments; and secondly for the Muslims people on the same ground, as a matter of discipline, and also to put an emphasis on the new commandment. It says: ``And wherever you (Muslims) be turn your faces towards the sacred mosque.''

HOLDING THE OPPOSITION'S TONGUE

In order to hold the tongues of the critics and oppositions, the verse proceeds on saying: ``The change of QIBLA, was ordered so that the people may not have any reason against you; excepting the oppressors of them'' Had the QIBLA not been changed, the Jews could have reasoned against the Muslims, that they had read in their scriptures, that prayers in two directions would be a sign of the foretold prophet.

On the other hand, the pagans too, could object saying: ``Mohammad who claims to revive ABRAHAM'S religion, has firmly adhered to Jerusalem, a Jewish center for QIBLA, leaving the ancient house of God, built by ABRAHAM.''

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Of course the oppressors and objectors are found every time, and everywhere, who seek excuses and stick to flimsy pretexts. Such are indeed the oppressors, who oppress themselves, as well as the others! Allah's last favour mentioned in the verse, is to develope the believers and to establish their rituals, and direction of prayer, and also to free them from the confinement of fanaticism and unreasoning zeal about trifles; thus completing HIS favours to the believers who were obedient and feared none but Allah:

``And that I may complete my favours on you, and perhaps you may be guided.''

(( 151 ))

151- AS ALSO, WE HAVE SENT AMONG YOU OF YOURSELVES, A MESSENGER, REHEARSING TO YOU OUR SIGNS, (VERSES OF QURA"N) AND SANCTIFYING YOU, AND TO INSTRUCT YOU THE BOOK, AND WISDOM, AND TEACHES YOU WHAT YOU WERE NOT TO KNOW.

(( 152 ))

152- THEN DO REMEMBER ME, I WILL REMEMBER YOU, AND BE THANKFUL TO ME AND DENY ME NOT.

THE COMMENTARY
THE PROPHET'S PROGRAMMES (VERSE NO. 151)


The preceding verse is completed here, which implies that; the grant of KAABA for Muslim's QIBLA, was a great favour of Allah, and

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that the favour is now perfected by sending a messenger of Allah, who is one of them, and a mankind who knows well the weak points and the abilities of man. He is chosen from among them to fulfil four instructive and vital programmes as follows:

1) Rehearse to the believers the signs and verses of God.

2) Cherish and sanctify the believers.

3) Instruct them the BOOK and WISDOM.

4) Teaching them what they know not.

VERSE NO. 152

This is to notify that it is the RIGHT, and deserving, that man be thankful for receiving favours. They also should remember God, if they expect God to remember them.

WHAT IS GOD'S REMEMBRANCE (ZIKR)?

The Arabic ``ZIKR'' in its verbal significance, implies: `to remember' or to praise by frequent mentioning. But merely rehearsing the name of God by the tip of the tongue is not enough. Real ZIKR may represent both a solemn ritual, and a spiritual state of mind or heart, in which the devotee seeks to realize the Presence of God. Thus there is ZIKR of the tongue and there is ZIKR of the heart.

We have traditions that the prophet said to HAZRAT ALI (AS):

``O, ALI! There are three obligations that this Muslim People (UMMAT) is not able to fulfill it well, and as it should be done:

1) Equity with the religious brothers in wealth.

2) Giving them the people's right, by true and fair judgment.

3) And the remembrance of God in any condition.''

ZIKR is not merely the rehearsal of Glory to God. Prais be to God. God is only one, and Greater than all. ZIKR, is to avoid evil when you confront with UNLAWFULS.

(( 153 ))

153- O, YOU WHO BELIEVE! SEEK YOU HELP IN PATIENCE AND PRAYER; FOR, SURELY ALLAH IS WITH THE PATIENTS.

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(( 154 )) 154- AND SAY NOT OF THOSE SLAIN IN ALLAH'S WAY, THEY ARE DEAD; RATHER THEY ARE ALIVE, ALTHOUGH YOU ARE NOT AWARE (OF THEM)

THE COMMENTARY
PERSEVERANCE AND ATTENTION TO GOD


(VERSE NO. 153)

In the previous verse, the argument led to teachings of BOOK, and WISDOM, and sanctifying the souls; now it proceeds to perseverance and constancy, without which the said meanings and purposes cannot be manifested and reached: ``O, you who believe! Seek you help in patience and prayer. Surely Allah is with the patient.''

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE

With the help of these two powerful means, i.e. the PATIENCE and PRAYER, one may go bravely to challenge with difficulties and hardships of life, having the consolation of thinking that God is with the patient, and that God loves the patient, in other word, this means that, though patience is bitter it bears sweet fruit.

Contrary to what some may take it to mean; patience is not undergoing the oppressions, or accepting the reign of misfortune over

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our fate, or yielding to adversity, contempts and humility - No - never so! It rather is steadfastness in resistance, when bad happens. Another shade of the argument which is signified by the verse, is another important support besides perseverance and patience; and that is relying on God through the PRAYER. So is that, we read in a tradition: ``When HAZRAT ALI (AS), encountered a difficulty; he first attended to prayer, and then bravely chased the difficulty, meanwhile rehearsing the verse: ``Seek you help through patience and prayer.''
Therefore the above verse enjoins two factors, which are: relying on God through prayer, and relying on yourself through constancy and perseverance.

OCCASION OF REVELATION (VERSE NO. 154)

IBN ABBAS has said that; this verse was revealed about the martyrs of the BATTLE OF BADR, who were fourteen men, six of them were of the Emigrants, and eight from among the Helpers. When the war was over, Muslims used to say: such and such died in the battle.